Gogol Bordello - Pura Vida Conspiracy (4 stars)

A relentlessly positive album from Eugene Hutz's gypsy-folk-punk posse

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Gogol Bordello - Pura Vida Conspiracy

(ATO)

Isn’t everyone on a quest towards unity? To breaking down the borders and living as one? Well, at least one man is. The psychological pleasure seeker Eugene Hütz is very vocal about seeking that one unused thing within everyone’s being, and Gogol Bordello’s sixth album Pura Vida Conspiracy proves an indulgent celebration of this ideology.

From the rustic opening of ‘We Rise Again’, the band set the bar high on brimming positivity. With the aptly angelic-turned-mischievous tone lingering around their more European sounds (‘Malandrino’), their claim to be born with singing heart is made without an ounce of irony. Instead of the continuous carnival excitement, others thrive through acting as a ‘Start Wearing Purple’ throwback without risk of being a carbon copy (‘Dig Deep Enough’) or gear their punk elements towards Flogging Molly territory, if they happened to live on the Black Pearl (‘Name Your Ship’).

But with highs also come lows. ‘The Other Side of Rainbow’ sits very much in the middle of the road as the first track to noticeably feel long; its successor, 'Amen', follows suit. These prove minor discrepancies in a narrative of limitlessness, as ‘Lost Innocent World’ doesn’t dwell, but tells tales of trying to forge their own way without constraints.

Gogol Bordello have carved their own niche over the years and have no intention of abandoning it. Leaning far more to the folk end of their punky hybrid for this offering, the band maintains that authentic live quality that has proven undeniable over the years. It’s suggested that positivity is a good first step towards living as one, and it’s difficult to be anything other than in a great mood while listening to this record.

Gogol Bordello

Gypsy punk band whose frontman Eugene Hutz was one of the stars of the Liev Schreiber-directed film Everything is Illuminated and also frugged with Madonna at Live Earth.

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